History – DISASTER! Mistakes, Errors…and How We Overcame Them

Rising tide : the great Mississippi flood of 1927 and how it changed America / John M. Barry
An account of the 1927 Mississippi River flood explores one of the greatest national disasters the United States has ever experienced and its consequences in a comprehensive volume that clearly shows how the flood changed the course of history.

The worst hard time : the untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl / Timothy Egan
Presents an oral history of the dust storms that devastated the Great Plains during the Depression, following several families and their communities in their struggle to persevere despite the devastation.

The children’s blizzard / David Laskin
Describes the deadly late-nineteenth-century snowstorm in the Great Plains that killed more than five hundred people including numerous schoolchildren, describing how the unexpected blizzard devastated generations of immigrant families and dramatically affected pioneer advancement.

The terrible hours : the man behind the greatest submarine rescue in history / Peter Maas
An revised edition of a classic tale of sea rescue provides a gripping account of how, shortly before World War II, a heroic Naval officer named Swede Momsen led the efforts to save thirty-three men trapped in a sunken submarine.

Curse of the Narrows / Laura M. Mac Donald
Traces the 1917 disaster in Nova Scotia during which a collided and grounded ship exploded and devastated the city under circumstances that would later be studied for the making of the atomic bomb, in an account that also describes the subsequent relief mission and trial of the ship’s captain.

The Colony : The harrowing true story of the exiles of Molokai / John Tayman
Reveals the untold history of the infamous American leprosy colony on Molokai and of the extraordinary people who struggled to survive under the most horrific circumstances. Tracked by bounty hunters and torn screaming from their families, the luckless were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and most of those who did were not contagious, yet all were caught in a shared nightmare.

Triangle : the fire that changed America / by David Von Drehle
Describes the devastating 1911 fire that destroyed the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York’s Greenwich Village, the deaths of 146 workers in the fire, the Jewish and Italian immigrants, mostly women, who made up the majority of the victims, and the implications of the catastrophe on twentieth-century politics and labor relations.

Krakatoa : the day the world exploded, August 27, 1883 / Simon Winchester
Considers the global impact of the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, documenting its cause of an immense tsunami that killed 40,000 people, its impact on the weather for several years, and its role in anti-Western Islamic fundamentalism.

Gilded lives, fatal voyage : the Titanic’s first-class passengers and their world / Hugh Brewster
Presents an account of the experiences of the historical ship’s wealthy and famous passengers and their world, drawing on original research to place their lives within an arc of the Titanic’s dramatic demise, explaining how their stories reflect key tenets of the Edwardian era.

100 mistakes that changed history : backfires and blunders that collapsed empires, crashed economies, and altered the course of our world / Bill Fawcett
Examines bad decisions that changed the course of history, including Little Big Horn, the policies that lead to the Dust Bowl, and the Bay of Pigs invasion.



List created 3/12/15 – James Hartmann

Posted in Adult Staff Picks, Reading Lists and tagged , , , , , , .